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Poster: Reade Date: Jan 14, 2013 2:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Yet another example of a 'story' about late band members to justify (for an unsuspecting audience believing they bought a ticket to hear loud electric music) an acoustic set in late '69 and early '70.
Too many of these examples for any kind of a coincidence. No, it wasn't always necessary (shows on their home turf for example) but served a real purpose out on the road back in the day when information moved far more slowly and audiences were unaware of recent innovations to the band's performing repertoire.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jan 14, 2013 4:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

I am not sure this would fit that pattern. It looked like a pretty organic event. Reading the school newspaper (The Argus) some folks and student organizations worked hard to host this event: free food, accommodations and other. GD played at the bottom of Foss Hill (right next to the track and at that time the baseball field), on top of a flatbed truck w/ iffy lights and sound system, on a cold, rainy May night. It did not look like anyone was taking tickets or acting as security. (It looked like Spring Fling.) At one point there was a reminder from the stage that some people might be undercover police. Garcia and Weir, who were there early, performed an impromptu concert that afternoon (in between the rain). It would be interesting to know what GD were charging all those colleges that May versus the going rate.

Best quote. "Everyone is going on the bus, but no one is coming off." (Referring to their bus just after GD arrived. And said without apparent irony.)

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Poster: N Hoey Date: Jan 15, 2013 12:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

I grew up in Middletown. My parents worked at Wesleyan. We lived about a mile away. I was 11 when this show happened. I remember the day somewhat. My friends and I used to ride our bikes around the campus and we did that day too. Right at this time, Nixon had expanded the war into Cambodia and US Colleges were in an uproar. Many were going on strike. I got a white sheet armband that said STRIKE! on it from one of the student activist tables set up by the Admin buildings. The Kent State shootings would happen the next day.

This was my first awareness of the GD. Workingmans Dead was released right about this time. Lyricist John Barlow had just graduated from Wesleyan. He was in the College of Letters where my Mom worked and I met him several times as a kid. The band stayed in the Holiday Inn in Meridan about 8-10 miles away. The night before, they played the famous Harpur College show which certainly keep them up quite late and the trip from Binghamton to Middletown would have been easily 3+ hours back then. So being late is actually more likely than not.

The event was wide open and free, in the center of the campus on main athletic field. The wide lawn extending up Foss Hill was the "seating". That was our prime hill for sledding in the winter. I remember that it went on all afternoon with a number of bands and into the night. I was kinda young to really know what was what. It was the first time I saw pot smoking and experienced the smell. If the acoustic set happened in the afternoon I expect it was late. I had to be home for dinner and wasn't allowed to go back so I did not see the GD.

As to this recording:
http://archive.org/details/gd70-05-09.sbd.cotsman.9770.sbeok.shnf

light into ashes feels it is a sdbd recording as did the original poster and I understand why they do, but I'm quite certain it is not. Really. It isn't. It is a microphone recording done right up close to the stage and PA. While the instruments sound deceptively boardlike, the vocals do not at all. The fact that it was outdoors only helped the ambient microphone recording sound boardlike, no room reflections. Along with the various bumping and thumping sounds of Bob and Jerry, there are ALSO mic handling sounds. Also the sound of the audience applause at the end of the songs is distinctly unboardlike (ie, at the end of Black Peter) and much more microphone near stagelike. The particular quality and character of the saturation on the vocal peaks sounds like an auto level cassette, not a higher quality manually set deck. The sound this recording is exactly what I would expect from a close up, microphone to auto level cassette recorder of that era, even a built in mic recorder. The rather informal and rudimentary stage set up makes it FAR more likely that someone just came right up close and set a deck near one of the speakers rather than attempt to get a much more complicated board feed with who knows what sort of mix. When the ordan comes in during Black Peter, it does not sound at all like a channel fader being turned up, nor does the harmonica sound like it is coming direct from a hand cupped mic line. Having been an extensive collector and taper myself for 35+ years, I am extremely familiar with every conceivable recording "sound". This is not a line recording from a soundboard, no way.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffMonte B Cowboy Date: Jan 15, 2013 11:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

I graduated high school the year before this GD show at Wesleyan. I wasn't a deadhead yet. My older brother was getting drafted at this time. He had just finished going to an aviation school. Instead, the Naval Air Reserves accepted him due to his aviation training. I was next in line to get drafted. The shit was hitting the fan: very unfavorable war in Vietnam!

Thanks to an eleven-year-old kid, we're finally getting this "uniquely American" story straight: May 3, 1970 was the day before the Kent State Massacre.

The first week of May in 1970 American history was all about our war in Vietnam.

On April 30, 1970, in a televised address, President Nixon announced to the nation that an "incursion" into Cambodia had been launched by United States combat forces.

dead-head_Monte-richardnixoncambodianincursion.jpg

"In cooperation with the armed forces of South Vietnam, attacks are being launched this week to clean out major enemy sanctuaries on the Cambodian-Vietnam border.

A major responsibility for the ground operations is being assumed by South Vietnamese forces. For example, the attacks in several areas, including the Parrot's Beak that I referred to a moment ago, are exclusively South Vietnamese ground operations under South Vietnamese command with the United States providing air and logistical support.

There is one area, however, immediately above Parrot's Beak, where I have concluded that a combined American and South Vietnamese operation is necessary.

Tonight, American and South Vietnamese units will attack the headquarters for the entire Communist military operation in South Vietnam. This key control center has been occupied by the North Vietnamese and Vietcong for 5 years in blatant violation of Cambodia's neutrality.

This is not an invasion of Cambodia. The areas in which these attacks will be launched are completely occupied and controlled by North Vietnamese forces. Our purpose is not to occupy the areas. Once enemy forces are driven out of these sanctuaries and once their military supplies are destroyed, we will withdraw."


— an excerpt from Nixon's Address to the Nation on the Situation in Southeast Asia, televised live on April 30, 1970.

At Kent State University, a massive demonstration was held on May 1, 1970 on the Commons, and another had been planned for May 4.

On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guard troops opened fire on peaceful student protesters at Kent State University. They shot and killed four students, two of whom were not protesters. One of the students killed was William Knox Schroeder. William Schroeder had been walking from one class to the next when he was gunned down. Schroeder was also a member of the campus ROTC chapter.

Wait a minute, my dad was ROTC (Harvard). Imagine that! After graduation my dad flew planes over north Africa in WW II and he was shooting film. This is how he got his VA funeral when he passed away over twenty years ago. It turns out my older brother gets into aviation. It turns out I get into taping GD, then shooting video, and then working in electronics in broadcasting. (Is there any genetics going on here?)

Vietnam looms largely today, Jan 15, 2013. We have Vietnam combat veterans Chuck Hagel being nominated for Secretary of Defense, and John Kerry being nominated for Secretary of State.

During the first week of May, 1970, GD had one very brilliant and shining moment. This was the free benefit concert at the M.I.T. student protest on Kresge Plaza on May 6, 1970. For me, this was by far GD's finest moment.

An Unscheduled Freebie on May 6, 1970 - discussion thread for TDIH

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jan 15, 2013 10:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

>That (Foss Hill) was our prime hill for sledding in the winter. It still is! Quite crowded (but still fun) during prime time sledding.

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Poster: N Hoey Date: Jan 15, 2013 1:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Oh I also meant to say that if this is from KENNYBEE's friend's cassette master and it could be and probably is, then I bet the reason the electric set wasn't also circulated is that the much louder volume probably overloaded the autolevel deck far worse than the acoustic set and they considered it unlistenable.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 15, 2013 12:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Thanks for your input! This would be an excellent AUD tape then, similar to the 4/12/70 AUD.
Then it would also make sense why it cuts off early, as the taper probably got caught if he was so close. Same thing happened to the tapers on 5/16.
There's no telling whether Bob Matthews recorded this show or not, as we're missing a week of the Dead's SBD reels right here, between 5/2 and 5/14. (5/6 was an outside job.)

Kennybee taped on 5/9, not 5/3.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Jan 15, 2013 12:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Thanks for writing. I never knew Barlow was a College of Letters alum. So am I.
We called it "traying - sledding on Foss Hill on cafeteria trays.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 14, 2013 8:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

I highly doubt it was a "story." This was a free show. There was no "backstage." Phil & Mickey would've had to be hiding in a bus!
They had also been playing acoustic sets regularly for a couple months by then, and had already played two full-band acoustic sets just in the previous 2 days, apparently without much warning. They had no need to make up an excuse.
I've read other accounts that the Dead were supposed to start in the afternoon, but the full band didn't arrive til near dark. The NRPS set apparently started quite a bit later than this acoustic set.
I've read one account that Phil & Mickey were visiting Mickey's aunt.

I am not so sure the earlier occasions in Dec '69 when a late bandmember prompted an acoustic set were just "stories," either. Not that it was a coincidence, but I suspect that bandmembers were frequently late to shows in those days. There must be plenty of electric shows that started late because someone arrived late, but since it's not mentioned on tape, we never know about it.